It’s pretty awesome that a bunch of kids who auditioned for a reality show eight months ago got to share the stage with people like Janet Jackson (Miss Jackson if you’re nasty!), Chicago, Joe Cocker, and Hall and Oates tonight. Janet Jackson! I mean!
In addition to all the special guests on the American Idol finale, there was a winner, and his name is Lee DeWyze. Okay, if you didn’t feel happy for the guy as he cried his way through “Beautiful Day”, you have a heart filled with poo. It became pretty obvious from the way Lee nervously handled his microphone in the moments leading up to his coronation that he really wanted this. We still have total confidence that Crystal Bowersox will have a killer career, but there’s only one winner, and – God, all his crying! It was touching. Suck it, paint store! We did enjoy the rest of the show more than we’ve probably enjoyed most other episodes of Idol, for our rundown of all the special surprises, read on.
For a two-hour-plus show, American Idol’s finale was not the tedious filler-fest we’re used to. Sure, they went over by ten minutes, so after nine years they still haven’t mastered their craft, but at least they cut down on crappy banter and gave us some actually-very-entertaining performances and guest stars. We present you with a list of our favorites (which is pretty much all of them).
Dane Cook’s attempt at comedy started off not as lame as he usually is, since he wrote a song called “Simon Says” by compiling Simon Cowell’s sharpest zingers as lyrics (our fave: “You could be a background singer for a background singer”). It’s easy to be funny when someone else comes up with the words! But it was only when a pool of Idol rejects on the receiving end of Simon’s barbs came onstage and one of them hijacked the microphone yelling about how he was going to take over Simon’s job and then threw crazy Tatiana del Toro to the side of the stage when she tried to take the mike that it got really interesting. Sadly they cut to commercial to avoid what was probably the only unscripted and spontaneous moment of the show.
Goodbye Simon, Goodbye
It was hard not to be a little misty during the homages to Simon throughout the course of the night, and even more impressive that they got as many Idol finalists as they could to join in song in tribute to their snarky mentor. The thing about a personality like Simon’s is that since his praise, emotion and special winks don’t come easily, it’s all the more meaningful when he does dole them out, and he seemed truly touched by the contestants and by Paula Abdul‘s not-surprising appearance. She was drunk though, right? God, she makes us nervous.
Alice Cooper! We’re Not Worthy!
It’s impossible for us to watch Alice Cooper and not think of him in Wayne’s World telling his bandmate Pete “It’s actually pronounced Millie-wah-kay.” These days, guy is like, more pro-golfer than he is rock star but his appearance during “School’s Out” helped explain why Crystal and Lee were dressed like extras in The Wall. His was one of many pretty cool special musical guests – The Bee Gees! Christina Aguilera! Michael McDonald! – that made the show thoroughly entertaining.
Crystal’s PG Version of “You Oughta Know”
“Would she go down with you to the theater?” Oh. No. They. Didn’t.
The various his-and-hers group songs of the night reunited us with the season’s top twelve and really hit home how good and bad the contestants were. Didi Benami, Lacey Brown and Andrew Garcia? Not Good. Katie Stevens and Paige Miles? Actually better than we probably gave them credit for! Here’s to hoping the quality voices in this crowd have long careers, and the not-so-stellar voices learn a trade.
The Return Of “Pants On The Ground”
The return of General Larry Platt showed something that Sean Combs has been doing for years, that adding a decent beat to poorly executed lyrics results in a hit. Plus tonight we got the added bonus of William Hung. So, yeah.
Adding to the list of cameos we weren’t expecting, we were legitimately worried that he might strain too hard during “Every Rose Has It’s Thorn,” which he sang with Casey James, and something bad would happen. Casey is another example of “what the crap were we thinking” hindsight, his warble just isn’t wearing off. But Bret, ever the comeback kid, reminded us why so many dirty whores like him in the first place, he is a pretty good singer.
It was a lot of show, so what did you think, America? You voted, were you happy with the results?
[Photo: Getty Images]